Aamir potrays urban sophistication, he's highly regarded as an actor of gravity. Everyone wants to work with him. He works with a variety of material, is critically lauded and delivers hits by the bushel.
Just as much box office gold is Akshay Kumar. His machismo is tinged with earthiness. Lately he's found a niche in PJamadies (what most people call comedies) - overcoming eye rolling reviews to earn singular praise from viewers. He continues to make his distributors rich.
Amidst all their box office fireworks, both have delivered clunkers and average performers. While we could launch into a sophisticated analysis of how and why, I decided to take the FS (Frivolous and Silly) route instead. Interestingly I found that all you have to do to understand and even predict their box office performance is to look at the length of their haircut.
Yes, Aamir and Akshay's hair dictates their box office of late. Not convinced? Here's the evidence.
Aamir took his time and grew his locks to play Mangal Pandey in the Indian rebellion of 1857. The audience mutinied right out of the theaters, leaving Aamir with a box office bomb.
Sensibly, Aamir restored his matinee star hairstyle to play a terrorist masquarading as a tour guide in Fanaa.Trimming his locks allowed Aamir to overcome tepid reviews and deliver a hit.
Aamir returned as a star in his directorial debut TZP, a mash up of treating special need kids with care and a cautionary tale of parent pressure. Shorter haircut, bigger bucks at the box office.
In the upcoming Ghajini, Aamir dons a millimeter buzz. Based on his hair (not) raising trend so far, Ghajini will likely be his biggest hit. Until he takes a razor to his head, that is.
Since Akshay is a mirror image of sorts to Aamir as a superstar, the hair trend works in reverse for him. Sporting a smart, regular-joe haircut in Bhool Bhulaiyaa got Akshay his biggest hit of the year.
But putting his head under a Number 1 clipper for a tough guy cut landed Akshay in hot water as Tashan flopped. Heck it was lucky to even get released widely in India.
Akshay went with longer hair in Singh is Kinng. You could argue that he kept his hair under a pagdi for the entire duration of the flick. But none of you went in thinking he might be bald underneath now, did you? So my FS argument totally holds. Result: Ringing cash registers at the box office.
But hey what's this? We don't get to see much of Akshay in the posters for his upcoming Chandni Chowk to China, but I don't see any hair peaking underneath his Chinese straw hat. This doesn't bode well for Khiladi Kumar. My prognosis is that his box office will take a nosedive.
Ghajini opens November 28th, 2008
Chandni Chowk will release in January 2009
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